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POCSO ACT

Each and every child has by birth has capability to grew up and gain his full potential and contribute wholly towards the development of the society and its nation. The Indian constitution provides children there priority for their protection and providing proper and lawful care, treatment and even spreading education of adopting children for a friendly approach by the society. All the children borne are innocent by birth but due to prevailing circumstances and not getting proper guidance and upbringing there nature become aggressive and they get involved in serious crimes of the society.

If any child who have not completed the age of 18 years and does an  offence which disturbs the public peace of the society Juvenile Justice Act 2015 sees the prima-fascia of the circumstances that whether the offence was committed with or without criminal intention. It may be that the child lacks behind the capability of judging the consequence of his crime.

Then under these conditions he should be given personal treatment which converts his mindset to lawful and social work and the treatment should be based upon his economical, physiological and social background upon seeing the circumstances [i]. It is believed that about 53% of children in India face some forms of sexual abuse in India.
 
According to POSCO Act 2012 child is any person who is below 18 years of age and does not have capability to understand the seriousness of the crime he had been committed.

There was a basic necessity of POSCO act as:

  1. The main aim of this act is to protect children from sexual offence in the society and establish a special court for rapid disposal of case and proper and delicate looking into the cases and being very sensitive matters to be looked upon.
     
  2. The best thing about this act is that it provides remedy and punishment even when sexual offence is against a boy and does not perceive discrimination between a boy and a girl.

There are basically 5 types of sexual offence which are recognized under POSCO act that are:

Penetrative sexual assault under section 4 with punishment upto imprisonment of life,then aggravated penetrative sexual assault under section 6 with punishment upto imprisonment of life, then sexual assault under section 8 which includes punishment upto 5 years, then aggravated sexual assault under section 10 which include punishment up to 7 years and at last sexual harassment under section 12 which include punishment up to 3 years.

For giving justice and stopping corruption to enter under POSCO act another body which is State Commission of Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has been authorized for monitoring the implementations in the act and to submit the activities in its annual report.

The more delay in disposal of cases with high number of reporting cases have made one thing clear in the mind of the people that children who are victim of sexual offence are not getting justice and proper remedies[ii].

The PIL filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) caught the attention of the whole country in which the major key issues that were to be made for improvement and implementation to it where time bound trial and slow disposal of cases. According to HAQ Centre for child rights in 2015 only 5% of the questions have addressed children problems and there solution in both the houses.
 
It is believed that the children who experience sexual exploitation have long term stress issue so the family, parents, relatives, NGOs can play a major role in preventing the abuse against children and given them proper education about inappropriate relations, difference between good touch and bad touch and even in sober conditions they should be educated about the self-defense for their safety purpose[iii].

Last year in Delhi an operation named NIRBHEEK means without fear was launched in order to educate the children about sexual harassment. So these small steps make a big count towards the development of the country.

We can reduce the child abuse by interacting more with our children specially when they are hesitating while telling us and should not put up a boundary of being elder and younger. We must try to look out the emotional and behavioral change and should not leave them in isolated or one-on-one situation and at last itís our responsibility to safeguard their rights.

End-Notes:
  1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Over-53-children-face-sexual-abuse-Survey/articleshow/1881344.cms
  2. https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/conviction-rate-in-pocso-cases-alarmingly-low-dslsa-to-hc-116102400909_1.html
  3. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/operation-nirbheek-to-go-national/article8173847.ece
Written By: Pranjal Rai, Amity University Lucknow Campus
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9919900040

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